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August 6-8, 1999
SECTION THREE vol 10, no. 147
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Events this weekend in Church History
On Friday we commemorate the death 778 years ago of the founder of the Order of Preachers Saint Dominic whose feast is superseded Sunday for Ordinary Time. To him Our Lady gave the Holy Rosary to strengthen him and his followers against the heresies rampant in his time and which would become the ultimate weapon for all after him, especially in our day and age. For other events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history this weekend, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Historical Events in Church Annals for August 6:
Feast of the Transfiguration
Death of Pope Saint Sixtus II, 24th successor of Peter who died of martyrdom at the hands of the Roman Emperor Valerian. During his one year pontificate he effected the translation of the mortal remains of Satint Peter and Saint Paul and introduced the Latin exclamation "Deo Gratias." Though he died on this day, his feast day is celebrated the next day.
Death of Saint Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers, commonly known as the Dominicans. Born in Calaruega, Spain, it was Dominic to whom the Blessed Mother bestowed the Rosary. He dedicated his life and order to fighting the heresy of Albigensianism. Canonized in 1234 by Pope Gregory IX. Though he also died on this day, his feast day is celebrated the day after next on August 8th.
Death of Pope Calixtus III, 209th successor of Peter. Born in Jativa, Spain, his three year papacy is known for ordering the universal ringing of the bells for the Angelus at noon every day and for instituting the feast of the Transfiguration which we celebrate on this day. He also brought about the growth of the faith to Scandinavia.
Death of Pope Paul VI, 262nd successor of Peter, whose pontificate lasted 15 years. It was Paul VI who brought the Second Vatican Council to its conclusion on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in 1965. In 1975 he celebrated the 25th Jubilee. He also instituted the Bishops Synods and allowed clerical dress other than cassocks to be worn by priests. Unfortunately, many abused that privilege, becoming ashamed to wear the Roman Collar. He will forever be famous for his masterful encyclical Humanae Vitae which was scorned by so many and began the split within the Church between those who remain loyal to the teachings of the Church and those who choose to disobey and follow their own will. Like his predecessor Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI's cause for beatification has been introduced.
Pope John Paul II releases his tenth encyclical on the fundamental questions on the Church's moral teachings called Veritatis Splendor - "The Splendor of Truth.
Historical Events in Church Annals for August 7:
Death of Saint Cajetan, priest and religious founder. He is also known as Gaetano, a great Catholic reformer whose reforms were used largely as the platform for the Council of Trent after his death. He was canonized by Pope Clement X in 1671.
Death of Saint Thomas a Kempis, author of the timeless inspirational "Imitation of Christ."
Historical Events in Church Annals for August 8:
Death of Saint Colman of Lindisfarne, an Irish monk and abbot who studied under Saint Columba and founded two monasteries on the emerald isle. He was a staunch defender of the faith as well as the Celtic ecclesiastical practices and liturgy which eventually lost out to the Roman liturgy.
Pope Clement V, operating out of Avignon, calls witnesses forth to testify against the Templars regarding heresies and misappropriation of Church funds and properties. The Knights Templars had been a solid foundation during the crusades but turned their spirituality toward materialism and fell out of favor with the Church.
Queen Joanna, matriarch of Naples, rules that a brothel should be opened to the public against the strong condemnation of the cultured and virtuous Pope Clement VI.
"Runaway Bride" leaves all the rest standing at the altar!
The final week of July finally found a decent movie topping the charts, rather off and running as in "Runaway Bride" which outdistanced all the others. For the Top Ten reviews for the fourth week of July prepared by the NCCB, click on MOVIES AND MORALS
1. RUNAWAY BRIDE
$35.1 million in one week:
Because of very discreet sexual innuendo and minimal profanity, the
U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association
of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. In "Runaway Bride" cynical
big-city reporter Richard Gere comes to a small town to do an exposť on bride-to-be
Julia Roberts, who has left several previous suitors at the altar, only to find he wants to
replace the groom at the imminent ceremony. With Roberts luminous in her role, the
feel-good romantic comedy, though predictable, brims with warmth and charm.
2. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT
$29.2 million in one week:
Because of fleeting violence, much menace, some profanity
and constant rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is, A-III --
adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "The Blair
Witch Project" is a documentary-like horror film showing footage found a year after the
disappearance of three young filmmakers who entered a Maryland woods to explore an
old myth about a resident witch, leaving only the filmed record of their frightened final
days. The low-budget effort has a sense of urgency as the footage shows the trio
increasingly lost and terrified, but the dialogue is soon reduced to shrill, incessant
cursing, which undermines the film's ominous atmosphere.
3. DEEP BLUE SEA
$19.1 million in one week:
Because of gory maritime violence, coarse expressions and rough
language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture
Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Deep Blue Sea is a wildly implausible
thriller in which three genetically enhanced sharks devastate a floating sea laboratory
experimenting on them, then roam through the lab's lower levels hunting down trapped
survivors, including the lead scientist (played by Saffron Burrolip) and the project's
financial backer (Samuel L. Jackson). The synthetic characters bring little human
interest to the frantic proceedings as sudden, ferocious shark attacks punctuate the
4. THE HAUNTING
$15.3 million last week/ $65 million in two weeks:
Because of gory violence, including a decapitation, and intermittent profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. "The Haunting" is set in a spooky old house in rural New England where a psychologist uses three volunteers for an experiment in fear that goes awry as the house begins to come alive with the evil spirit of its builder. The special effects horror is laboriously overdone and leaves nothing to the imagination, a mistake not made in the 1963 original which remains the one to see.
5. INSPECTOR GADGET
$14.1 million last week/ $47.9 million in two weeks:
Because of comic violence and mild sexual innuendo, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. "Inspector Gadget" is a dopey adventure comedy starring Matthew Broderick as a bionic policeman slowly learning how to use the various crime-fighting gadgets with which his body has been equipped. Based on a TV cartoon character, this live-action Disney misfire is a waste of time.
6. AMERICAN PIE
$6.8 million last week/ $77.2 million in four weeks:
Because of its scornful treatment of premarital virginity, sexual situations including masturbation and oral encounters, some nudity, gross toilet humor, occasional profanity and recurring rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. In "American Pie" a quartet of sex-obsessed high school seniors make a pact to all lose their virginity by prom night and set about lining up willing partners. The gross comedy's focus on sex as mere sport with no consequences is relentlessly one-track and clearly aimed at impressionable teens.
7. EYES WIDE SHUT
$4.3 million last week/ $48.7 million in three weeks:
Because of graphic sex scenes, full nudity, drug use and rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "Eyes Wide Shut" is a failed cautionary tale about a mixed-up Manhattan physician who sneaks into a satanic cult's sex orgy from which he barely escapes with his life to return home a more sober husband. Director Stanley Kubrick's final picture is a major disappointment in its cold-hearted, heavy-handed treatment of shallow characters in thinly contrived situations that fail to elicit any empathy.
8. BIG DADDY
$3.6 million last week/ $152.7 million in six weeks:
Because of implied affairs, coarse expressions and gestures, some profanity and fleeting violence, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. In "Big Daddy", Adam Sandler plays an irresponsible 32-year-old temporarily taking custody of a motherless 5-year-old boy to impress a girlfriend, but in the process he learns parenting is more than just hanging out and goofing off. The one-joke movie lurches from toilet humor to blatant brand-name product placements to increasingly sappy sentiment as Sandler's character predictably matures.
9. STAR WARS: EPISODE ONE - THE PHANTOM MENACE $3.4 million last week/ $408.6 million in eleven weeks:
Because of sci-fi swordfights and battle sequences, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace is A-II - adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. "The Phantom Menace" is a disappointing prequel to the "Star Wars" trilogy in which two Jedi knights (played by Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor) intent on saving the planet Naboo from Federation invaders enlist the help of a young boy who will eventually become the evil Darth Vader. By emphasizing fantastical creatures and myriad special effects, writer-director George Lucas loses much of the movie's human dimension and ends up achieving mostly visual spectacle. May 1999
10. TARZAN $3 million last week/ $158.4 million in seven weeks
Because of intensely menacing hunting scenes, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and
adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. "Tarzan" is Disney's animated tale about an orphaned baby boy raised by jungle gorillas who grows up before encountering his first humans, including a duplicitous hunter intent on capturing his beloved ape family and spunky Jane, who tempts Tarzan to return to civilization. The classic characters of Edgar Rice Burroughs are appealing, the animation splendid and the music tuneful but some action scenes of predatory violence are too intense for younger children.
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August 6-8, 1999 volume 10, no. 147 DAILY CATHOLIC